Last month, more than 7000 people died in the Nepal Earthquake. As this international tragedy continues to unfold; the story is moving from a headline to an afterthought.
For Dr. Lew Zirkle., founder of SIGN Fracture Care International (SIGN), the people of Nepal are never off his radar. During the past 16 years, the Richland, Washington non-profit, which has deep connections in Portland, has trained dozens of orthopedic surgeons in the region.
SIGN has been operating projects in Nepal since 2001. Today, 11 SIGN programs supply 50 surgeons in the capital city of Kathmandu, as well as Lalitpur, Buhusaldandu, Manigram and Baldelgada.
Dr. Zirkle estimates more than 500 casualties will be treated with special bone-healing implants manufactured in Richland and often shipped from Portland.
A message on SIGN’s website sums up the non-profit’s mission in Nepal:
“As long as there are broken bones in this devastated region of Nepal, SIGN is prepared to provide the implants, the medical supplies and the equipment needed to restore the traumatized people of Nepal physically, socially and emotionally.”
Dr. Zirkle and his staff were in Portland on May 2, 2015. SIGN hosted a fundraiser for the orthopedically injured in Nepal. The event was a major success, raising more than $125,000, about half of their projected earthquake recovery expenditures in Nepal.
Prior to the event, Dr. Zirkle sat down with Portland Radio Project for an exclusive conversation.
Click here for more PRP coverage about Sign Fracture Care International.